The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) today announced that its operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) has successfully started up Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafra Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
The milestone shows the significant progress being made in bringing the four units of the Barakah Plant, the first multi-unit operational nuclear plant in the Arab World, online and accelerating the decarbonization of the UAE’s power sector on the way to Net Zero by 2050.
The start-up of Unit 3 has been achieved one year after the start-up of Unit 2, with the next key milestone being the connection of Unit 3 to the national electricity grid in the coming weeks.
This announcement comes at a time that many countries are looking to mitigate energy shortages as a result of the global energy crisis, emphasizing that the UAE’s decision to add nuclear energy to its energy mix back in 2008 is now delivering results, providing a clean and reliable baseload source of electricity for the nation.
Unit 3, once commercially operational, will add another 1,400 megawatts of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity to the national grid, a major boost for UAE energy security, and a major step forward in tackling climate change. The clean electricity generated at Barakah is sustainably powering homes, business and high-tech industries across the UAE and the successful development of the plant demonstrates the country’s extensive megaproject management capabilities.
His Excellency Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “We have reached another major milestone in the delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program today, as we move forwards with the provision of strategically significant clean energy for the UAE.”
Nawah, the Joint Venture nuclear operations and maintenance subsidiary of ENEC and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), have been progressing through a comprehensive testing program, prior to successfully completing the start-up of the third nuclear energy reactor of the Barakah Plant. Testing has been undertaken under the continued oversight of the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), and follows the World Association of Nuclear Operators’ (WANO) completion of a Pre-Start-Up Review (PSUR), prior to receipt of the Operating License, which ensures Unit 3 is aligned with international best practice in the nuclear energy industry.
Start-up is the first time Unit 3 has produced heat through nuclear fission. The heat is used to create steam, turning a turbine to generate electricity. Making use of the experience gained in the start-up of Units 1 and 2, the qualified and licensed team of nuclear operators conducted numerous safety tests after safely loading fuel into the reactor earlier this year.
In the coming weeks, Unit 3 will be connected to the national electricity grid and the operations team will continue with the process of gradually raising power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT). The process will be continuously monitored and tested until maximum electricity production is reached, while adhering to all regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security.
Both Units 1 and 2 of the Barakah Plant are operating commercially. Unit 4 is in the final stages of commissioning prior to completion of construction.
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Very good progress by the utility.